tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 3, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
in large measure to the story, what are some scenarios we are looking at? do we stay at this impasse until september? what do you think in terms of the media process? >> this is a rc13 the media process? >> this is a revolution and they are inherently unpredictable. one possibility is a continued standoff. history suggests that it will not be forever. other forces will come in. . . of
recession. just in this scenario, there is the tunisian saw -- tunisian scenario that is unfolding. the military is playing an important role. i think we should expect that scenario to unfold in egypt as well. for israel, i do not think -- is real or the united states has to adjust to a -- israel or the united states has to adjust to a new environment. this is a new environment. i do not think whoever is in charge would dismantle the peace treaty with israel. but there is going to be a new relationship.
>> i want to get to some questions. i will ask everyone to be pointed and brief so we can keep this conversation going. shadi, lets me get a quick comment for you on implications on oil prices. what is your take from their? >> oil prices have gone up significantly along with apple list of economic consequences. this is going to have a -- with a whole list of consequences. this is going to an effect on the saudi arabian stock market. there is a panic here in terms of the economic situation. if these protests continue indefinitely and there is not more reassurance about stability in egypt and the broader region, we will see a continuing decline
in the regional economy. that will have an effect on the u.s. economy. >> $100 per barrel for oil or the iranians does a lot to take down the pain -- for the iranians does a lot to take down the pain. they must be sitting there and rubbing their hands. >> i think we need to recognize that the iranians do not see this the way we do. we see this as an oppressed people rising up against a corrupt government. the iranian leadership is looking at this as an anti- american movement. they think this is playing to their advantage. they see hosni mubarak as the most anti-iranian of all american allies going down. they see chaos in america's most important allies. they feel like they are an advantage. worry about the oil prices.
what we have to worry about is to what extent the iranians see it in their advantage to make the situation worse. i will come back to mine lenin analogy of the kaiser's government. we have seen iran passably cooperate in the past. both of these groups can see it in their best interest to make the situation in egypt worst. >> they have just dealt with the green revolution. i thought it was interesting that they stepped up their repression of picking up people, even more people and executing some people. they are worried that this might reignite an opposition movement that they have successfully repressed.
>> let's get to the audience. we will start in the back. they will bring the microphone to you. what are we meant to state our names. >>-- are we meaants o meant to r names. what do the event in egypt mean to to me? >> we heard about how the rhetoric has evolves and the lecture of the tunisian people. mubarak is warning these people about chaos. he becomes a champion of the people he is definitely were rate. he has been in power for decades.
libyan society has different social conditions. its makeup differs from that of tunisia and algeria. but that does not give solace to khaddafi. he is as worried as everybody in that region, including morocco. >> yes, sir? in the back. >> i am with csis. i wanted to ask a question beyond the region. obviously, there are governments around the world who are watching this situation. i think particularly the one in beijing, which the last time saw a region swept with the evolution in the 1980's. that resulted in tenement square.
-- that resulted in the violence in the square. can you comment on china? >> you have captured the question. one thing that happened is that the china told mubarak that they have his back. not surprisingly, the russian government has done the same thing. >> the although pratt stick together. -- the autocrats stick together. >> let's go to doha. >> what does this change to me to the u.s. in terms of the balance of power? where is this balance of power
leaving the united states in the region? >> the government is concerned about what would take mubarak's place. >> i would like to start with the point that was made before. the obama administration came out of the gate and gave a wonderful speech in cairo. they turned their back on the efforts toward political and social reform. the way the united states can come out of it is to recognize that mistake and realised that is the way the united states is going to have to redefine its role in the future. the united states needs to be an engine of change and to enable reform, hopefully not as explosively as it has happened in egypt. hopefully, they can convince the other allies in the region that they need to move down this path. >> at president bush's second inaugural, he pushed for egypt
ian reform. was there and the administration talked about freedom, or the refusal to push? >> the fact that the middle east was put on the political reform agenda was revolutionary. there has not been a administration that has thought of democracy in the middle east. there was disappointment when the bush administration eased back after a hamas -- after hamas. in egypt, the muslim brotherhood had a relatively strong showing. i thought that was a mistake. i think people were reenergize and looking toward the obama administration to recommit themselves to reform. this decision, before the cairo speech to cut off all
assistance, was terrible. we need to get back on the track. does it need to be with the second inaugural and with that kind of language? no. but it needs to be real. words need to be followed by real action. that is not what is a magician has done in democracy and human rights. >> you have a different take on what the administration has done regarding egypt? >> in the 1990's, the balance of power was all that i thought was important here. stability was critically important. mubarak was facing a violent islamic extremist movement. we have to get with it. the tide of history is moving in a clear direction. if we ran our hands and say the balance of power -- we have to worry about stability -- we have to get on the side of the people who are demanding freedom.
that is what we believe in above all. then the question is, how do we protect our interests. that is the critical question. >> the key of jordan, another ally of the united states, says he wants to have rapid political reform. we have to help him move on that front. we have to do the same thing with all of the autocratic leaders who have gotten religion. at least verbally, we have got to get behind them. this is going to create an opportunity for us to lead a dramatic change toward democracy in this part of the world. >> it is amazing that we can have conversations about the middle east and we almost take for granted, there is no democracy in jordan. the queen was on "hardball"
saying, oh yes. it is a kingdom, but it is far from the sentiment on the street. shadi, you wanted to make a point? go ahead. >> i just wanted to add to martin's. that there is a danger that the obama administration will be remembered as resisting change. that is a big danger. let's suppose we see change and we see also crass stepping down. the last thing we want is the future -- autocratis stepping down. the last thing we want is for these future leaders thinking we were not on their side. u.s. credibility is low under obama. u.s. favorability ratings are low throughout the middle east.
this is a chance for us to regain influence and to understand how the region is changing and reorient fundamentally our foreign policy. a lot of people are talking about a fundamental reorientation after 9/11, but we did not actually do it. now is the time to take that post-9/11 rhetoric and make it a reality. >> back to questions. my question is concerning mubarak being the shepherd of the israeli talks. what does this do to the future of this process? the palestinian authority has been about on what -- about in what is going on in egypt.
>> the palestinian authority has relied on egypt for the effort to engage with israel to resolve the palestinian conflict with israel in that way. they are feeling somewhat like israel, a little naked at the moment. in the circumstances, they cannot do anything about it. what is interesting is that the two elements dealing be revolt, the lack of political freedom and opportunity -- on the economic opportunity front, west bank palestinians are doing quite well today. they do not have the same unhappiness about their economic circumstances. actions were taken against a key figure. he was put under investigation and there was a signal that he would take anti-corruption
measures seriously. they do not have a problem like many of the other arab autocrats. what does it mean for the israeli-palestinian negotiations? they are already dead in the water. this is not going to revive them. it is going to cause a massive distraction. by solving the palestinian problem, you will be able to deal with what is happening in egypt. having said that, while global focus is everywhere else, it would be a good time for the israelis and the palestinians and the palestinian leadership to actually resolve their differences, take advantage of the fact that no one is focused on them. there are things that could be done on the ground like withdrawing the army from areas that would give the palestinians a sense that something is
happening. >> is this an opportunity for leadership for netanyahu? burst through the gates and put down your own plan? >> i agree completely. this is the moment that the israelis should find a way to do something to diffuse the palestinian issue before what is happening in the rest of the arab world comes around again. inevitably will and will focus on the palestinian problem. that is how israel gets on this side of history. >> we will take a few extra minutes if everyone is willing for additional questions. i wrote down, what is the spark? how did we get to this moment? in my coverage of washington and the iraq war, i remember the debates about wmd and all the rest. what was said in some circles was that after 9/11, the united
states graphs the region by the scruff of the neck, decapitated one of -- grabbed the region by the scruff of the net and decapitated one of its leaders. is there a connection between that and what we are seeing today? >> i do not buy it. of course, everything is connected. egypt has had its own story for a long time. i first went to egypt in 1985. there were hopes that mubarak would start opening up then. one cannot believe that there have not been more crises in egypt. all the ingredients have been there. the spark was about to nietzsche -- tunisia and the events there. was also about wikileaks. that helped to needed. there was a sense that if they
can do it in tunisia and tunisia was considered to be obsolete immovable. nobody talked about politics in -- to teach a was considered absolutely immovable. -- tunesia was considered absolutely immovable. it got people into the streets. i would say one point on the internet. the fact that the egyptian government cut off the internet and cut off facebook and cell phone technology was the worst possible thing they could have done. people had to get out and behind their computers and into the streets. for those who are looking at turning these kinds of communication device off, they had better think twice. >> what about that? before the notion of speaking of
the egyptian quality of a revolution, before the concept of nationalism, we talked about nationalism in arab country and pan-arab nationalism. is there anything particular in this case? >> it was a movement that was gaining steam over time. >> there is no link between iraq and what we are seeing. certainly not between the president bush agenda and what we are seeing. not in the view of the people. that is laughable. that is what the people say about the bush freedom agenda. this is about frustrated expectations. we hear about the rise of prices. that is what triggered it. that is only part of the story. we had seen riots before.
for people live in the region, for people who travel in the region, in the last few years, we saw a gap that had been become intolerable between -- become intolerable. we had been seeing it in the last four years. in tunisia, we did not expect the revolution. in to douse a, riots broke out. that was a first in tunisia. -- in tunisia, riots broke out. people born themselves. the self immolations did not start -- people burned themselves. that is what i see happening all over the place. >> the path out of the desert.
the central thesis being what? >> it was the enormous frustration with the economic social and political stagnation of the region. i went back to the old literature on revolution. everything these wonderful scholars of revolution have been writing about is all in the middle east. it is only a matter of time. it was going to be a gradual process of reform or an explosive revolution. it is also important to keep in mind that the terrorism we face is born of the same problem. terrorists are frustrated revolutionaries. they all tried to start revolutions in their own countries. like other groups, they turned to terrorism when they found they could not start the social revolution. they went after us because they
saw us as the power standing behind the governments that they were seeking to overthrow. >> there are also nihilists who are evil. >> they are always there. you will always find those people who will see the frustration and anger of the people and take it to a ridiculous extreme and they will use violence. >> let's get back to our questions. >> i am from the mitchell report i want to try to link two thoughts. one is the picture of david and martin sit-in before that twitter board on sunday. -- sitting before that twitter board on sunday.
and the comment that was made in doha about how this is going to force a realignment. are we talking solely about the middle east or south asia? or, if this is a serious suggestion that is going to force some fundamental realignment in american foreign policy, is that irrespective of geography? is america going to have to narrow the gap between its values and its interests in dealing with countries in the middle east, south asia, and elsewhere? >> i hope so. [laughter] yes, as a democracy and human rights advocate, we would hope that would be the case.
each administration has taken this on and grappled with it. in certain cases, they have stepped back. what you have seen in the obama administration is that they have tried engagement with a number of large authoritarian countries. they have not gotten much in return. i know they tried to portray russia -- there have been some gains. you also see that in iran, they started with the engagement. and north korea. they are finding that engagement is not bringing results on the national security side. it is at tremendous expense of our values. i think they are going to have to realign themselves. whether it would be the gap between our values and our interests does change -- probably not across the board. but it might in some cases. i hope it does.
>> shadi, want you to comment on something. there is this expectation beyond egypt, a theory that is raised that this is the opening or and islamist political movement to take root in egypt and beyond. in the extreme cases, it is talking -- there is talk about a return to the khalifi. but there are legitimate concerns about the brother's -- >> there are legitimate concerns about the brother's position. the u.s. does have national security interests that will be affected by this. that is why i think the way to address that is to engage in the opposition groups before they come to power rather than
afterward. you do not have leverage after they are in power. we have leverage with them now. that is why dialogue has to start. we should have started dialogue with some of these groups years ago. that way, we could have been prepared. we could have said, we told them that this is a red line in there was an exchange of use. we are a little late in the game. it is time to start reaching out. >> is there a question from doha? >> can you comment on the silence of leaders? what country you think will be next? >> goodness. i do not see what they can say. we have seen other silence from morocco to algeria.
only the libyan leader came out and supported that. all of them are nervous. all arab autocrats. that explains why they are silent. they do not like what they are seeing. they are terrified of what happens if a buyer does actually leave or fall. tunisia -- they are terrified about what will happen if mubarak actually leaves or false. the way egypt goes, the way the arab world will go as we saw in the 1950's would be arab nationalism. we have seen it with the rise of political islam. there is nothing to say. are you going to stand with the people with the same demands? these people have the same demands as what we are seeing in egypt. they are waiting to see and pray
that mubarak buckles down and they will take it from there. >> there are so many countries to play an important role diplomatically, strategically, in the counterterrorism fight. i think about where you are sitting. i think about person countries -- i think about other countries. what must they be thinking right now? >> if i were a regime official in any of these countries, i would be pacing in my room right now. there would be internal discussions going on about how to respond to this. they are nervous. if they see the u.s. putting pressure on mubarak, they will start to wonder if they might be next. that has a positive demonstration effect where they can start to initiate reforms rather than wait for their own revolution. that way, we can start to have a gradual transition to help the
region. it makes us all realize or makes them realize that supporting western interests is not going to be enough. they have to go beyond that and address the demands of their people. there is a widespread perception in the arab world that these leaders are part of the western or bets and that is their main concern and that the -- part of the western orbit and that is their main concern. >> what we have not talked about is syria. the point here is that nobody really knows that this is an sunni evolution. for sunnis in syria, this is a sunni revolution. they have suffered at the broken hands of a minority regime.
-- they have suffered at the brutal hands of a minority regime. there is a bit? as to whether -- there is a big question about the syrian leader. i wonder if they will be immune. >> i wonder if we have time to talk about saudi arabia. it has been listening a bit, quietly and at its own pace. clearly, it is aware of what is going on in the world. can the saudi arabian sketched by with their methodical, slow progress in expanding democracy and human rights? or do they have to step it up and risk a revolution? >> it is a great question. from the perspective of american interests, as important as he did is, saudi arabia is even
more important. what you are seeing in saudi arabia is exactly the point you are making. king abdullah said to his people, i understand your unhappiness. i am going to make changes to accommodate you. they are not as far and as fast as saudi arabia liberals would like them to go. you are seeing another constant of human history. people do not like to revolt. it takes a lot to drive people to evolution. if the government says to the people, we understand your plight and we are going to change, that is all the people need to hear. it is almost like the tortoise and the hair. -- the hare. it is not about how fast you go. it is about the constancy. i worry about the death of king abdullah and his replacement with a new monarch.
he took on the bureaucracy. he took on members of his own family. he has had to fight hard for the limited changes he has able to make. it would not be surprising that when he died, you got another member of the royal family who is not interested in it. if that happened, it could be calamitous. the saudi arabian people are expecting constant change. revolutions occur when expectations are dashed. >> final question here in washington. in the back. >> i am with swiss public radio. so far, the obama administration reacted to the events. what you think they want as a priority? stability or do they want to have a condition government
backed by a military regime -- what to have a transition government backed by a military regime? >> i think they want an orderly transition where everything stays within boundaries. i think anything that they do not like -- they do not like chaos on the streets. they are not in favor of the military coming in. that would be -- but the discussion on egypt continues live as we take you to -- >> the discussion on egypt continues as we take you live to the saban center for middle east policy. you will hear from the al jazeera washington bureau chief and a correspondent from the mcclatchy newspapers. >> we are going to talk about egypt today. we have some great folks.
dr. abderrahim foukara is the bureau chief for the al jazeera satellite channel. he is the host of "from washington," a weekly show on american issues and foreign affairs. he came to al jazeera a years ago from the d.c.-based allafrican.com. before that, he was with the bbc and the boston-based production of the bbc. nancy youssef was a bureau chief in baghdad for a long time. most of our reporting in recent years has been about baghdad and iraq and afghanistan. she is the egyptian. both of her parents are
egyptian. they live here now. but she has a lot of family in cairo. she can tell us exactly what is happening over there. not from the sense of a demonstrator, but from folks who live there. dr. jon alterman is the director of middle east programs. prior to that, he was with the u.s. department of state as a special assistant for near eastern affairs. he was a member of the naval operations executive panel. before that, he was an academic. he taught at johns hopkins. he was a scholar at the u.s. institute of peace and the washington institute for near east policy. we have some folks here who have a pretty good experience --who have pretty good experience on what they came here to talk about. i want to ask a general question of all three of you.
dr. foukara, is this a revolt or is it a revolution? >> oh, boy? i am going to relax and think. [laughter] i think it is a revolution to the extent that it may succeed. if it does succeed and it passes off peacefully and leads to a good outcome for egypt and for the arab region and for the relations between the arab region and the west, particularly the united states, i think it will be revolutionary in its implications, transforming the region, something that some u.s. administrations have tried to do in that part of the world and have dismally failed.
it would be revolutionary in the sense that if it happens relatively peacefully, we have seen some violence over the last 24 hours. if it happens peacefully, it will be food for thought not just for egyptians, but for other arabs about how they can transform themselves without necessarily going back to where the arab world was just two months ago before tunisia happened. >> nancy, you were on the phone with friends and relations all day today. what do they think? >> they do not know. the reason this is a critical question, is we are asking what is an acceptable outcome for the egyptians? if an acceptable outcome is that members of the current government and the status quo are no longer there, it is a revolt.
if there is a fundamental change in how things are done in egypt and in the middle east, this becomes a revolution. to your question about what people are saying, i am talking to the people who are not in tahir square right now. they are protecting their neighborhoods and are trying to stretch their money as far as possible because they do not know when they are going to get to the banks. they are middle-class egyptians i am talking to. i hear them saying, we do not want mubarak. but to this idea of an immediate end of his regime, what next? it is the uncertainty that worries them did it is the devil -- it is the uncertainty that worries them. it is the devil you know versus the one you don't.
they feel their needs and wants are being hijacked by these two forces. the ones who don't want mubarak and the one to one of the revolution. i call everyday and i called various parts of cairo. i call a place today near where all this is happening. if you are in addition, then you know you are related to people and you don't know how. i will say my cousin's wife. she said, when you had your monica lewinsky scandal, you had months to investigate the president. why do we have to form a new government tomorrow? [laughter] that was her analogy. >> who do you think these people are? >> they do not really know who they are. there are a lot of different people who have never been put together before. when they have tried to come
together, it has not worked. there was a movement several years ago to create a broad base coalition. it never really succeeded. you have a group that is largely agreed on negative propositions. it is hard to agree on a positive proposition. the president and the government have been careful not to allow people to formulate an alternative. the alternative is the government or chaos. one of the things we will see over and over when president mubarak talks is the word chaos. he is the alternative to chaos. the question is whether this is a revolt or a revolution. it is interesting to remember that when egypt had a clucoup in 1962, it was not called a revolution. it was called to the blessed movement. it did not have the name revolution until time had passed
and people wanted to define it as such. whatever happens, we are in a period we do not know what it is quite yet. what it is is likely to be significant. it is early to say that this is a revolution because it is early to judge the direction of the impact. rather than turning things over, it may create a consolidation and much more of the status quo that anyone would have participated one -- anyone would have anticipated one week ago. >> president mubarak gave an interview. he said he is tired. he said he doeis fed up. he said he wants to quit. but he says he can because there would be chaos if he quit. do you think that is what would
happen? is it mubarak or chaos? >> to put it in a philosophical context, it has something to do with power. power does something to human beings. as an arab living in this country where there is a constitution that reflects the foresight of the founding fathers, it is an interesting question you are raising. when those guys wrote the constitution, they foresaw that power is addictive. unless you have a strong incentive to leave it, you will not leave it. there is a joke in the arab world that you americans may have heard. one of mubarak's aides went to him and said, people are clamoring for a farewell speech. he said, a farewell speech, why?
where are they going? [laughter] i think it sums up the relationship that mankind has had throughout history to power. the specific case of what he actually said, i find it interesting that he has gone on the record as saying that after the going got tough. if he had chosen to say it one week ago, you and probably woult have raised that issue. he is -- the last week has probably taken a strong pull on him. i still find that the statement is a little disingenuous in the sense that all politicians can be disingenuous. >> john, you and i were talking
before -- jon, you and i were talking before we came in. what do you see happening now? please demonstrators appeared to be sent there by the government. that is the way it looks from the outside. >> there seems to be some demonstrators from the government. some seem to work for government businesses. there is some basic support for the leader among many of these people even if they are not viewed with approval by people near them. my sense of what is happening is that the government seems to positioning itself -- seems to be positioning itself to be the
broker between the people who are starting to use violence and the protesters. what the government says is, we are going to hold back the mob and we will make sure that the mob of the protesters does not take over. we urge -- we have heard the protests. someone said, thank you for raising these issues and alerting us. we will work with you to resolve the difference between this mob that is using violence against the protesters and the peaceful protesters. that puts the government in the position of holding two out of three of the chairs. they can go through the prime minister with the support of the president and the regime's support of the military. rather than leading to an opening of the political
process, it ends up being a continuation of the political process. there are important reservations. perhaps the government feels it was too lax allowing the protests to go on. you have more control over the internet and political activities leading up to this. and a retreat from the economics that were intended to bring in foreign investment to make it better investment climate in egypt and returned to the socialist inspired subsidies and capitalism. what you are going toward is not in egypt that is going toward an open and prosperous economic future, but egypt of 1995, and egypt that was going into the 1950's. >> thank you for bringing this up. i think it is working. there are real and practical
things happening to everyday day egyptians -- happening to everyday editions who are in their homes and do not know who these people are. they do not know when this is going to end. they are not going to work in some cases. it is a viable option. in a way, the egyptian government is outlining what it will do. the protesters are not. i think people are astonished at what the protesters have accomplished. they are hopeful about what lies ahead. there is the immediate problem of not knowing what is next. at least there is the promise of stability. i was talking with someone today and i said, what did the egyptian vice president says in september, i won despite all evidence otherwise. what makes you think he will leave? she said, he has to leave. there is a belief that there is power in the masses and on the streets. if the government gets out of
control, they can rein them back in by taking back to the streets. there is a renewed sense of power in the people. how much of that is real and how much of that is fear of living under this for the last 10 days. it is hard to know. those are things the government is able to exploit. >> we keep hearing from our people there that tomorrow is going to be the big day. what happens tomorrow? >> remember what happened last friday. we were talking about the internet and the impact it has. last friday, when the protests got together, there was no internet. you have people going to the mosque and listening to their imam and going out into the street and saying, will bar, you need to step down. what you have offered -- say, mubarak, need to step down.
what you have offered is not enough. we want immediate change. the question is what kind of push back they will get from pro-mubarak supporters and what happens when the mubarak presidency does not end tomorrow. how does it go from there? what we will see tomorrow is another metric in terms of what is this is a revolt or a revolution. whether people are saying the reform cannot happen until president mubarak not happen or whether they can see reform coming. >> how has someone looking at this from a foreign perspective -- how has the united states handle this? we all know what the stakes are. how do you judge the way the administration has handled this? >> the first thing i would like to say is that it your audience
had come to this session feeling happy and optimistic, my purview is to depress them. >> at an academic or as a representative of jazeera -- as an academic or a representative of al jazeera? >> you will get a double whammy/ ./ let me go back to tunisia. the impression about what happened in tunisia was that it came too late. we had the secretary of state and visiting the gulf just a few days before the former president of tunisia fled. she addressed the situation in the middle east. she was addressing the leaders and telling them about the conditions of their daily
existence and they had to take some drastic measures to improve that. but she also said, talking about the riots going on in tunisia and the uprising and the revolution, which ever way you want to call it -- she said, we do not take sides. seen from d.c., you can understand why she said that. seen from the region, a lot of people took it as a slap in the face because two years ago, when the youth in iran was going through their turmoil, the government in the united states was more forceful in endorsing what they were doing. if you go back with memory to the collapse of the former soviet bloc, the position of the united states government was much more clear and to the point. this is what we want to happen.
that did not seem to happen in the eyes of people in the arab world in tunisia. because of the complexity and the consequence of egypt, which is much bigger than polynesia -- bigger than, tunisia, people see the united states as being more tentative in the way they handled the egyptian potato. what a lot of people in the arab world were clamoring for it -- if you see it from washington, you understand why the obama administration is not putting it in those terms. people in the region were clamoring for a clear-cut, we want mubarak to go before it is too late. it obviously has repercussions for the future role and influence in the united states in that region. i do not want to go to that
long. whatever the outcome is, i do not think there is a good outcome of 100% for the united states in the region. i am not sure that there is a good outcome for the egyptians and for the wider arab world. let's watch tomorrow. if it passes off relatively peacefully, that will reduce the risk down the road. if it goes down as a bloody event or the army suddenly decides to kill civilians, i think you are talking about something much more on scalable. -- much more unscalable. >> nancy, why has there been no
particular person emerged? why is there no way to handicap who the people would be if there would be an election? is there anyone who has a lot of popular support? >> mubarak decided that way. he cracked opposition. he pitted them against each other. he assured there was not a threat to his regime or a natural successor other than his son as a means to protect power. that is why he can frame the debate as a choice between civility and chaos. it is such a vast scale of on known as going forward. the most notable place you would think a leader would come from would be the army.
every leader since independence has come from the army. if you are a general in the army, you have tacitly or texas in supported the mubarak regime. -- you have tacitly or explicitly supported the mubarak regime. we have never heard the name of the person that could rise up. the first president of egypt was a colonel. i find myself thinking that is where the person will come from. you have people talking about mohamed elbaradei as a possible leader or as a transition leader. i think he is more popular outside of egypt that he is within. he is seen as an outsider and as a secular rest -- a secularist.
i do not know people who see him as the and lighting it up a revolutionary figure. -- see him as the embodiment of a revolutionary figure. >> if mubarak does go, can an orderly transition take place? >> i hate to make prognostications because somebody might actually read the transcript. i am not sure that he is going to go. people i have respect for say there is no way he can stay. there may be a way he can stay. we will have a transition that will be the transition that will be more orderly than if he died suddenly in office without these events. people are playing for keeps. the military is focused on retaining this strong role as an actor and a guarantor of the
political system. people are looking at the next nine months and wondering how they can have an orderly transition that makes it more sustainable than it has been. all of the other arab leaders would be absolutely delighted if mubarak -- then you not only have tunisia, which is important to everybody, and suddenly you have people being terrified of a domino effect. if mubarak is able to what this movement and control the movement and emerge as the paternal figure regarding and protecting the nation's national interest, we are right back to a much more comfortable status quo
for every single arab government. >> how does he stay if you think it is possible for him to stay? >> the goal is to emerge as the arbiter between the street thugs throwing molotov cocktails and rocks and the protesters. we have a process. we have heard you, he could say. we are going to mediate this. we are going to have a committee meeting. you have to talk about the constitution. it is going to be legal and orderly. you drive it into process. the process is controlled by parliament. parliament was handpicked by the ruling party. former generals, who have an interest in making the current system -- >> do you agree with that? --
departure of mubarak from egypt as the end of the story by any stretch of the imagination. again, tunisia is a good case in point because we saw the president flee, but to this day, some of the remnants of the old regime continue to hold on to power and their argument which is maybe a good argument, depending on who you talk to, is that we are still holding the country together and without us, the country would disintegrate in all sorts of ways, some of them internal, some others external. >> is it kind of the seps of the panel here, and i find this all very interesting, that perhaps the best thing that could happen is that somehow or other mubarak could quiet down this protest and he's now announced he's going to leave and then sort of stay in office until elections could be held?
>> i don't think that's the crucial point. i think the crucial point is, are you going to be genuine about changing the nature of the system which has been a remarkably closed system? >> i guess, john, what i'm getting at is there a better chance to do that if he stays than if he leaves? >> i think the system is bigger than mubarak. if he leaves the system as the figurehead, the focal point, i think the system is much deeper, it's much broader and much harder to penetrate. i mean, in some ways, it's like a country with a king versus a president. sometimes it's easier when you have a king because a king isn't contested and a king can sometimes bend the rules, sort of a crooked referee in order to keep everybody playing on the same playing field. to that extent, maybe on a marginal side if mubarak were genuinely interested in playing
that role, he could play it. i don't think he's interested in playing that role. i think he's interested in the durability of the existing system and i don't think the durability of the system matters if mubarak is there or not except for the fact that if there were a widespread perception that the mob had run mubarak out of office and the re-- then the remaining elements of the system would feel besieged and would be less charitable. that's not to say it's good that mubarak is there, but i think the way -- it's always between the -- between mubarak and chaos. there's in alternative but him or chaos. the most dangerous job in the country is being the second most powerful person. this is a country, there's no charismatic leaders or ministers widely perceived to have done a good job, nobody
with popular backing except for the president because he had a huge warning track around himself and those who got close to the warning track had to find other jobs. >> nancy, what choices does the egyptian military face now in the coming months? i mean, what could be difficult and what should get easier? >> in a way, they're in a bod position. we compare their military to our, how they see their responsibility. i think first and foremost there is a unifying thread in the egyptian military they see themselves as defenders of the egyptian state. at this point -- and they answer to their leader. they leader is mubarak so they are carrying out orders from him and the order right now is to not shoot on demonstrators, it's not their job to shoot on demonstrators and i think they
understand if they did, it would lead to instability in the state. therefore the only time i think they need to cross that line is if the state itself collapses. if the system as we now know it collapses and it becomes their job to intervene. but at the same time, for everyday egyptians, it's frustrating to many of them to see the violence break down. i felt that yesterday as you were watching the violence break out yesterday, and the military not get involved, you see the tanks on the street and see the fire bombs -- the mobs breaking out and here's the egyptian army defending the institutions of the egyptian state, the egyptian museum, the artifacts and history, defending the constitutioning and watching the riots break out. they're walking a very, very thin line. it's the job of the military. it's the job of our military as much as their military. it's not their job to be an arm
of mubarak but an extension of the state. they won the respect -- they already had it before all this but they've won it throughout. i always think of it this way. the police are an extension of mubarak but the army is the extension of egypt. that's why you see the frustration with the people with the police. when the police came out, the people were saying, you cowards, where were you because they had run away a few days. but the to army stayed. i think they're walking that line remarkably and consistently since this began. >> i'm going to ask all three of you, i'll start with you, nancy, talk about the effect that this, or the impact that this could have on the rest of the region. we know about what happened in jordan and we know there's a couple in yemen. what are the real danger points and kind of where do you see this goint across the region in >> it affects all of the region. you know, tunisia broke down
that barricade of fear of the government. because it was so astonishing and happened so quickly and the dominos started to fall. and if you think this was a big vat of oil, that was the spark, the match that got thrown in in syria, i think it will be a little more difficult, they're certainly not as open, i think the active regime would come down quickly on protesters, i think the day is scheduled for february 12. in yemen, i think they're split about what they want. it's not as clear cut as egypt. there are some who want the president to say he and his son are not going to run in 2013, which they've done. there are some who say he needs to step down right away. there are still others who say economic reform would be acceptable. it's a little more split. in jordan, because it's a monarchy, there's a division
between the kingdom and the government. we haven't heard people say they want the end of the hashemite kingdom but they don't have the option to say that, they're not allowed to criticize the government. we saw king abdullah try to get ahead of it by firing an unpopular prime minister. each country is touched by this but the inner machinations of this are all different. i think you'll see countries that haven't been hit by this to get ahead of the country. and other countries are now trying to adjust to what their populations are asking for. >> i want to hear the other two panelists give their views on that. while they're doing that, though of you who want to ask some questions, be thinking of the questions you want to ask. >> i think it's no big secret that the region, some countries areless stable than others. yemen springs to mind as one of
the least stable countries in the region. i do not, however, believe the domino effect is inevitable. but the condition is speed. the speed of change in egypt may avert the risk of the domino effect. and i think several of the leaderships in these countries are beginning to ripen up for change. i think if the change happens in egypt, in a way that safeguards the interests and aspirations of the egyptian people who have been clamoring for it this past week, and at the same time safeguards the egypt -- some of egypt's international commitments, whether with regard to israel or others, i think the government in egypt would have -- would be under less pressure
to introduce some of the genuine internal changes that the people of egypt want. if that happens in a relatively short period of time, i think other governments in the region may have an opportunity to do some of the adjustments that their own people are clamoring for, although some of these adjustments could actually be quite bitter as a pill. but i do not believe that the domino effect is necessarily inevitable. >>on? >> a couple of things you said, i think the speed is remarkable. we've never seen a popular revolution in the history of the arab world, we may have seen two happen inian depending on how this comes out. the fact that you can have things happen so quickly, thall ja zero rah effect and the twitter effect, the television effect and the social networking internet connection,
working together in a profoundly interconnected way to change things. i'm less optimistic that this leads us to reform. we saw the congress -- the courage congress showed in dealing with our budget problems, i think that governments under threat are not going to want to swallow bitter pills, they're going to want to sell, they're going to want to restore subsidies, especially at a time when global commodity prices are rising. i worry that the effect is going to be more government control of communications and more government subsidies and rather than moving forward to the kind of middle east we thought we were moving toward, i wonder if weir going to be moving back to 1994-1995, not really in a positive direction at all. >> the one country out there we
haven't talked about is israel which is obviously watching this. i think it was underlined to me how serious israel view this is when prime minister netanyahu asked the ministers in his government not to comment. it's been a long time sense i've heard an israeli prime minister -- >> and the ministers listened to him. >> to have him think he could tell them to be quiet, but they have been. how serious is this for israel? and then we'll go to questions. >> israel is terrified. israel is terrified of a muslim brotherhood like egypt. israel is terrified of any leadership change. israel has become quite comfortable with mubarak. they're uncomfortable with more populist politics in egypt because the israeli-egyptian agreement is deeply unpopular in egypt.
israel feels they have all the understandings they need with the current system in egypt and any change to that system -- >> let me ask you this. if mubarak does go, do you think the camp david accord, the thing that's been in force here for 30 years now is that out the wip doe? >> i think the israelis have better understandings with -- they have excellent understandings with mubarak. they have agreements on gaza and a range of issues. when you start talking about bringing in other players and broader politics in egypt, that's when the israelis get extremely concerned because that leads you away from the kipeds of very pragmatic understandings that the current government of egypt has reached. >> i think that as long as the army remains the back bone of power, which is the very
likelyout come anyway, although i would argue that for many egyptians, fortunately, the army is the instrument of the state, but unfortunately, it's also the instrument of the regime. but that's a different question. whether it's an instrument, whether you look at it as an trument of the state or the regime, i think any government that takes over in the future in egypt would not want to open that front with israel by abrogating the camp david accord peace treaty with israel. for one thinking, the army would not go for it. i think on that front, i'm not so -- i'm not so sure that the egyptians would go down that road. where i do think they would make a change, the new government in eyipt would make a change is in the relationship
between the israelis and the palestinians. the egyptians have obviously been mediating between the two. remember that egypt has always carried the mantle of arab national. i and the palestinian issue continues to be a very strong nationalistic rallying cry for the arabs. so the government in egypt will want to reassume that mantle because in the eyes of many arabs they have stopped wearing it and they want to assume it, it would be important for legitimacy throughout the arab world to change course in how it mediates between the israelis and palestinians. in other words, israel, i don't think, at least as far as i can see now, would not necessarily have to worry about a peace treaty but the issue of settlement, i think, yes. >> and gaza security.
>> yes. >> one quick thing. i hear comparisons between this and what happened in iran. israel needs a -- egypt needs a relationship with the western world, iran didn't. eyipt needs the suez canal for tour. i, for usaid, for cotton exports, that depends on a relationship with the western world. it doesn't have the option economically to anger the western world. so it's going to have to balance sort of carrying that tiflet representative of arab national. i while sustaining itself economically. >> i promised we'd go, this gentleman here, cowl you go to the mike? it's on c-span. >> is this on? >> yes. >> my name is joe, i'm an energy analyst and senior
associate with csix. i don't know where flill president mubarak is, obviously someone does but i can't understand why the protesters have not used the classic protest tactic of surrounding him, wherever he is. >> i'll start. i was wondering that myself. i was thought -- a reporter said she interviewed him in the palace. it's said he's in sharm al chic. that's closed -- al sheik. that's closed off to most egyptians. it's not as easy to storm the palace.
the other thing is, it's an information war as well. the cameras and attention is focused on the square, it's been cast as the battleground in terms of who is representing the voice of egypt. so i think all those factors are in place. i don't know anyone who has identified precisely where he is. i heard the palace, i took that to be cairo but couldn't tell you for sure. >> thank you very musm i enjoyed the presentations. i hear, of course there's a sort of conservative -- by the way, my name is paul apshere. i've heard about this become a revolution as opposed to a revolt and you indicate it may go back some to the extent that president mubarak can position himself as a broker between the revolutionaries and the
counterrevolutionaries, if you wish. if you could perhaps elaborate more on the role of the united states which was touched upon earlier on, president obama has said, for whatever it's worth, the transition has to start now. watching yesterday, the state department briefing, the state department indicated that there has to be a process, it has to be inclusive, has to be participatory, it has to be transparent, we're going to watch it and so far it has not progressed to the level we would like to see. now are these just generic exhortations sort of to satisfy world opinion in a generic sense? or is there something behind the idea that the transition has to start now or else, or if it doesn't start now in a satisfactory manner what is a satisfactory manner and last point, obviously, the united states provides egypt with enormous amount of resources, i believe egypt is the second
largest recipient of military and civilian aid. i personally visited usaid cairo which is a city out in the outskirts -- outskirts of a city. is there leverage or is this something the united states is watching, hoping for the best and what does transition has to start now mean in a practical sense? >>on? >> the egyptians would argue it started. mubarak gave a speech, talked about the committees to to be formed an the timeline, i think one thing to look at is the respops to the freedom agenda, to have a big conference in alexandria and talk about how the american freedom generals, an authentically egyptian agenda, you saw how many times the conference continued to meet and how many times the committee did everything else. the fact is, what the egyptians will seek to do is institutionalize precisely what the merps are talking about and
run those institutions. one of the problems we have from the u.s. government side is you can assign people from the embassy to try to work with people as all the committees are doing and everything el but for people in the united states, this is an advocation, this is one of the many things they do for people in the white house, this is one of the many things they do for other people going on, but for the egyptians, this is the whole ball of wax. this determines what the next 50 years look like. when that is faced the americans are trying to do a whole range of things, it's hard for the americans to have a whole lot of influence over the process. that that being said, there's no question that the shape of the u.s.-egyptian relationship going forward will change as a consequence of this. it has gone along for 30 years and i think quite frankly it's been running on fumes. we have a relationship which because it's been so much aid for so long, there's been a mutual resentment from both
sides, each side is feeling taken for granted by the other. it's forcing both sides to think about what they want the u.s.-eyipt relationship to be. part of that will mean egypt will not be as central to u.s. thinking as it's been and how central it is depends on how the egyptians behave during this process. but we are certainly wenting a change in this relationship a relationship that president mubarak inherited from anwar sue dat when he was elected. it's a relationship that mue par rack has invigorated. because of what is happening, this is a relationship that will be redefined, refocused over the next several years and the way that happens will be very much in the shadow of what happens in terms of the demonstrations, in terms of the nands, in terms of the succession to president
mubarak. >> i want to quick hi say two things, if i may. the way i see it is that president mubarak has two different clocks. when he hears president obama talking about we want change now. one clock is pointing to yesterday which is, as john said, he's thinking, i've already introduced some of those changes that you asked me to do. the other is pointing at tomorrow because he still feels he has cards he can still play and he is going to climb down, the climb down is going to be incremental and it isn't over until it's over. whatever shape or form that over finally takes. one fix thing i want to say about the aid. i think the aid in the eyes of the american is one thing. the aid in the eyes of egyptians is a different thing. in other words, aid has been part of the solution but also part of the problem.
yes, the united states has invested a lot of money in military to military cooperation with egypt but the way egyptians see it, remember egyptian, 5,000 years of history, 80 million people. crucial to anything that happens not just in the region but in the rest of the world in terms of scust and stability, how much does it get less than $2 billion a year. i'm not saying the expectation is that the united states should match up what it gives to israel, we know that's just not going to happen. but a lot of egyptians see it as -- more as an affront to some sort of tissue an affront to their dignity where the regime has actually put them. it has put this country where it's actually seeking and giving from the americans what in fact the major power that should be sustaining itself
rather than asking others for money. >> question here. >> bob, i was wondering, john quickly said tunisia is nonstrategic and what the carte ginians and romans thought of that area 2,000 years ago. we have spoke on of jordan and israel eric we haven't mentioned lebanon. to my understanding, the u.s. has suffered a great defeat as has israel in the recent developments in lebanon. could you speak to that and how that sort of touches all the larger bases we've been discussing? >> good point. the fact is how this plays out in all these different countries is very, very different. how it plays out in a country like jordan which is divided between east bank jordanians who served in the army and the government who feel that jordan
is their only home to palestinian jordanians, west bank jordanians whoest bankers say are not real jordanian, we just were nice and gai them citizenship, i'm afraid we'll have uprisings in yordan, it would be civil war, it would be jordanians fighting jordanians instead of a united front appealing to the government. in yemen, you have different interest groups. yemeni politics have been about interest groups making a demand on the government. in lebanon, you have 18 different sects who are all officially recognized, who all have their own politics. i think the way it worked in lebanon -- >> i'm talking about the strength of the dominant force, it's iran and syria. >> hezbollah can have influence in politics because they made a deal with the jews, with a faction of the christians. with all of these countries,
the manifestations are different. i think what we've seen is the speed of this, the unpredictability, makes everybody less comfortable because of the sense that people thought they knew the game. and the sense that maybe they don't know the game that tunisia can collapse, really to a presidential level and when they're weak, the president was on a plane out of the country. i am not ashamed to say that on thursday, of that week, i said people are talking about the evening, why are people rushing this? and the next tai he was on the plane. the manifestation in each country is unpredictable but also shaped by the conditions in that country. >> there's one final question here. because our time is running out. but let me ask each of you and
i'll start with you, doctor, what is a successful outcome here, and will we know it when we see it? >> pass. [laughter] >> can i come back on saturday at least? >> tomorrow is a big day, right? >> yes. it's a big day. i think a big part of the answer to the question hinges on what happens tomorrow. i mean, the ideal scenario is that it would pass off peacefully. the expectation after what we've seen in the last 24 hours is that it's not going to pass off peacefully. we may see some more clashes among egyptians. but the other two scenarios that i see is that either the
army intervenes and puts down the revolution uprising, whatever you want to call it, bloodly, and i think that would -- bloodily, and i think that would launch egypt down the long and painful pathway of chaos for a long time, and re-- and the region with it, or, i want to go back to what he said earlier, the army does manage to control the situation in one way or another but the temptation for it to take egypt back not just two months, but many, many, many years that temptation will be gone. i think my sense is that that the arab world will not go back to where it was two months ago. that's a judgment of value. i'm not saying the arab -- the prospects are very good. good or bad, there's no going back to where the arab world
was two months ago. >> i'm feeling ambitious, i'll try to tack that will first question. i come at it from a personal perspective. the successful outcome to me is an egypt where you don't have well-educated men, smart men, graduating college in their 20's and staring at a lifetime of hopelessness. you've had a whole generation do that. i think one of the reasons you're seeing these men come up and take to the streets is they've seen their fathers do it and they don't want to do the same. it's what the -- the process of that is what brought my father here. it's what i see in so many of my relatives going forward. i don't know what the outcome is strategically or politically but my hope and the best outcome to me is that egypt offers something other than a lifetime of hopelessness. >> i agree with nancy. the good outcome is one that leads to a genuine incorporation of more people
into a political process that improves outcomes, gives people a sense that they're vested in the society and creates a more resilient country. my fear is that the country may be on the brink of heading in the opposition -- opposite direction. i hope with all my heart this is not true. >> do you believe tomorrow is the crucial day? >> i think tomorrow could be crucial if it were extremely violent. it could be crucial if it were extremely massive and disciplined. it could be crucial. my own guess is we won't really know how this is going for another two months, that there's going to be some sort of ongoing process and at some point people will say is this process at all genuine or is it a complete fraud? it will be hard to capture the moment up of the day. the worst outcome clearly is that you have a sustained period of conflict that leads
to polarization, radicalization, i think that's what leads us to extremely negative outcomes, either very hard line secular military led government or a hard line religious led government. i think that's one of the things the government, the u.s. government has been saying all along we're trying to avoid. >> all right, well on behalf of t.c.u. and the schieffer school of journal. i, thank you all. [applause] of journal. i, thank you all. -- of journalism, thank you all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
corporation and the complaint also said mr. meyer should be liable because he was was the officer broker. >> listen to the argument on c-span radio. in washington, d.c. at 90.1 fm. nationwide on xm channel 132 and online at c-spanradio.org. >> next, journalists and political analysts in london look at events in tunisia, israel and the wider middle east. they talk about the events leading to the protest in egypt, the muslim brotherhood and how egypt may transition to democracy and compare events in iran, turkey, iraq and tunisia. this 90-minute event took place at the frontline club yesterday. >> hello, everybody. i'm jane, i work at "the economist" intelligence unit where i'm the associate director for the middle east and africa focus on both the
politics and economics of the middle east. i last visited cairo in november. i guess what i find particularly interesting about the event this year was seeing four arab governments fall in five weeks. particularly the events in tunisia and egypt have been a seismic effect on the opposition across the region. every arab government has their opposition. almost out exception, they're feeling inspired and embodele -- emboldened by what's happening. that's going to have a huge event. in the last five years, we've seen very little pressure for further democratization in the arab world. i think that's changing. i would like to steal some words from a bahraini activist friend of mine who said the ripple effect may take years to come through, but it's done,
the barrier of fear is broken. she's referring to the last two days, the idea that the barrier of fear is gone now. >> i'm david, it struck me as i came in here that we're in a situation where i thought it's almost bad, it's almost bad i didn't have time to checkly blackberry, we're sitting up here it could be changing by the second, it's so fluid. it's difficult to talk about, we could talk about how we got here in terms of talking about where we're going, it's very, very tentative. my headline would be absolutely momentous. let's keep in mind the events happening in the middle east right now are momentous. certainly the biggest in my lifetime. i think the consequences will effect them for a long time.
i join jane in thinking the barrier of fear is broken but urge caution where we know that revolution can go various ways. if we see the uranium example, i don't want to see the new leadership of egypt end up in london in two years with the muslim brotherhood in power. that would be dangerous. i'm sure we'll discuss further but i think those would be my headlines. >> if you are plugged in to the wider world and got news from respected sources, please interrupt us as we're going along. >> hello, everyone, thanks for coming. my name is mustafa. i'm a research fellow at william foundation based here in london. i lived most of my life in egypt and my headline would be i'm sad and happy, actually for what's happening in egypt. sad for the scenes we've all seen and sad for the old reasons that everyone is sharing with me here, seeing
people killed for actually what they are fighting for, and i'm happy again for the fear factor that is eased from people's minds. understanding actually that -- understanding what happened in relation to -- in perspective of this fear factor, egyptians rediscovered, they rediscovered thems, they rediscovered their ability, they have a voice that needs to be heard. and my statement would be, i hope that everyone would actually hear people's voices and the pollations' voice for the first time in the middle east people would consider what people say not what their statements say. >> i'm editor of online and interactive programs at bbc arab. i started works as a yourblist in 1990, a few tais after saddam hussein invaded kuwait.
since then, i've been covering news in the middle east and egypt and others in the mid 1990's. we're all struggling to understand what's going on in egypt and what's going to happen. i'll take on something that occurred a few minutes ago, we've heard from our audience as well, the word broke the barrier of fear. it looks like from talking to, from messages and the interaction we're having with our audience is that people in the middle east, it's dawned on them that they don't have to live like this. there is another opportunity. they can change something. now, we're all weighing up all the possibilities, whether it's going to be a real move to democracy or something more sinister will come up, personally i'm optimistic. i think we are about to witness a historic change in the region
and indeed in the whole world. i believe it's going to be for the better. >> thank you all very much. anyone at this early stable wants to chip in? please say who you are. you're welcome to make a constituentment -- statement or question and wait for the microphone. >> hi, my name is stephon, i'm a student of photography at the london college of communication. we heard that in yordan as well there were crises going on but we don't get that much in the news anymore, because egypt is attracting all the attention. do you have any information about jordan and other places as well? >> yesterday, they dumped the government, which has only been in pow fer a few months and starting a new one. they allowed half a billion
dollars of new subsidies. this is something we see everywhere, not economic reform but populist economic policies and some connected political reform. yemen also, they announced a bunch of economic reforms including, you'll be glad to know, strapping student tuition fees and the president has also said that he will step down at the next elections but we have heard him say that also before the last election. >> can i just, i mean i kind of -- i want to sharpen that a little, i would call it emergency measures. we're seeing the ripple effect, immediate, bread riots in jordan on what we could call a regular basis but this is entirely different. it's a ripple effect and emergency action for the government and they hope to hang on. >> besides yemen and jordan, i hear from friends in syria and algeria, they're calling for
mass protest on the fifth of february and the 12th of february in syria and algeria. whether this is a domino effect or not, we'll have to wait and see. >> when we talk about domino effect, we have to be care to feel look at each country individually. for instance, in jordan, there's -- the monarchy is very stable. even the strongest opposition do not call for the king to go and they want to king to remain. you have to look at each country separately. >> and we'll make sure to do that this evening. you are next at the back. i heard the king is giving $3,500 a month. that's kuwait for you. to the back. >> heard about an egyptian couple, they were amazed by this, for us it was normal,
come out -- when we left, it was normal, now -- >> use the microphone. >> you mentioned five years, enough has been really working the streets of cairo so your sense it's been building up for five years. where, if any, is the threat and where did it start? >> thank you for that will you give us a sense of the shock you feel? i believe you were a student in cairo, please respond to luke, he's asking you to be human about this and then use your head. let's go down the panel this way. tell us about the shock and where it came from. >> a correspondent from bbc after events in tunisia went on the streets in egypt to poor neighborhoods and asked people if they think the same could happen in ikentucky roe? do you want change? and he was met by overwhelming apathy. people were just saying, we're ok.
mubarak is ok. we have food. so 25th was really a shock. i think it's a testament to how detached from reality all the observers and even the government was and i believe that the anger and the dissatisfaction was building up over years and even decades and it was buttonned inside just waiting for a trigger to blow and this is what's happening. >> in the last five years, in addition to what you said, we have the sixth of april movement and about 200 strikes, small scale strikes in every worn -- corner of the country, probably not widely reported in the western media. i think the frustration with smaller attempts of strike and making the loud, the voice louder and louder, all this had been accumulated, it needed a
group, basically. >> can you give us a sense of what it means to you, what it feels in your heart you grew up in egypt when you tell luke how you're -- >> this is quite difficult for me, having been there until three years ago and have actually my family still there. talking to my niece the other day, she was crying, basically, she's only four or five years old, she doesn't really understand what's happening but at the same time i talk to her mom afterwards and i told her, i think those kids will hopefully have a better life than the ones we had. unfortunately, it's quite costly. unfortunately, we have hundreds of people have been killed. but i believe it's time for change. not necessarily in a revolutionary way but mubarak himself, he did not create any political rivalry. he created political culture for people to generate other position groups. >> where did it come from and -- you said momentous but spell it out.
>> on that, i'm not going to be going anywhere near the emotion stuff, it's not my emotive area but in terms of analysis, gigantic intelligence failure in my view and a gigantic policy failure we should discuss about where western policy has gone wrong because western policy is implicated in this. >> will the audience allow you to wash your hands of it emotively. >> i didn't mean to say i watch my -- i wash my and of it. i merely mean because of the demendably -- of the way he made it. >> let's take a poll, the west has a case to answer, hand up. you can emote all you like. >> the root cause of unhappyness have been building up for years. i think it was clear there
would be problems in 2011. we were already seeing it begin to deter foreign investment into egypt. people's attentions previously were focused on september when the presidential election was due. there was a question about whether the president would take that opportunity to install his son. this protest ofian 25 wasn't expected to be big. what changed recently was tunisia. that showed people that demonstrators could change things. >> i propose we come back to some of these issues. i promised to return to them. you want us to spell out, don't say every country is the same, discuss the domino effect clearly. you want us to discuss the intelligence failure. i'll take some more questions but i promise to bring these themes out before we leave. do try to remember we won't lose the important matters but you're important to us as well. you're first, you're second, you're third. >> i'm camilla, my company tracks a lot of news on a
weekly basis using a database and i can't help but notice that at the moment, the lack of stuff being written about saudi arabia. john snow was trying to sort people out about what's going on in saudi arabia and somebody said they'd been confiscating satellite phones from ex-pats, there were a high number of policemen, mrp usual at last friday's prayers. i wonder if you'd heard anymore about that and if people are getting nervous there in saudi arabia as well. >> absolutely. i gather the public is glued to the tv, i talked yesterday to two friends who just came back. king abdullah of saudi arabia was probably the most outspoke on the arab leaders to speak out about mubarak. what is interesting is i think we do need to look particularly hard at the countries where there's a question of succession and where the ruler
is aging. in saudi arabia, the king is age, he's been out of the country for most of the past six months and people, whether they're working in foreign policy, diplomacy or the oil sector are saying there's a kind of paralysis when it comes to policymaking because it's a top-down process and the top level isn't doing well. the next in line, the next three people in line to the throne are also on the older side and there are, who knows, there's speculation but there are concerns about the health of all of them. i think that is a big flash point. i think it will be interesting to see if any of the next generation of princes that could be in line for the throne might try to make common cause with some of the reformers. generally in saudi arabia, people talk about limited reform. they're not actually saying a lot about other countries. >> a linked question here. >> it's interesting you asked that question, i want to ask a similar question about saudi
arabia and also countries like libya as well. i work at a construction company and i had a month working in libya. we were working for a section of the government, their account was the yen people's committee. what was surprising the most whenever the general people's committee was brought up, it was like, oh, they can't mention the government, but they laffed about it, they said, we have no power. they were incredibly complay sent about it. in regimes like saudi, like libya, what do you think, do you think the ripple effect is going to have that big a wave and get that far? >> i bet your friends -- you'd like our friend to stop using phrases like "like saudi arabia" and "like libya." would you like to make your pitch? >> i said we need to look at each country on its own but
there are common threads between all of these countries. i'll give you a story or two to explain this. on our website, we publish the forums that put we a -- put a topic, political issues to valentine's day and football and everything. one thing we noticed is that in many of these forums, the debate turns into critsisme -- criticism to arab leaders. it's as if people in the middle east blame arab leaders for everything from failure in football to, you know, commercials, consumerist societies, to -- so there is a common thread. people are fed up. and the internet opens new opportunities for people and the media. for instance, in saudi arabia recently, we did something about women's rights in saudi arabia. we heard from women inside saudi arabia criticizing the
establishment. i was astonished because for me, this was the first time i hear this voice, a woman inside saudi arabia, on air, openly talking to millions of people, crit sidesing the religious establishment. >> to the back of the room with the microphone, then to the front and you're next. >> my question is in many ways linked to saudi arabia. how long do you think the saad family has and -- the saud family has and what are the implications for the price of oil and the financial markets on what's going on in the middle east? >> do you want to take this? >> i think this is probably jane's subject. i will say one comment about the domino effect. even if it's not a governmental level, popular level, i think we can see a real government reforms are taking place, we can see people are, again, i think they are rediscovering the power of people, not only in a sensational way but the
absence of political culture and in much of the region, we have to admit that this was the problem and blaming the leaders for everything is a problem that is generated from this passive attitude and so what we can see is at least if there's no revolution, uprising, violent clashes or anything, each individual, at least many individuals, would reconsider the abilities and capacities. >> the question is, how long does the saudi royal family have? >> i think it's going to be a transition to a constitutional monarchy, the easiest thing to do is try to weaken the powers of the monarchy, not overthrow it completely. i think while the oil is still there, they'll probably still be there too. >> the price of oil, anyone
want to comment on that? it's not going down. i was a wall treat reporter for seven years, it's not going down. do you want to say anything? >> no, i would if i may very quickly like to say something on the ripple effect as well. i think of course it's completely true in terms of keeping the countries accept -- each country a separate entity and analyzing but there's something to it. the media, every conference you go to, let's talk about the role of the media. now we really need to talk about the role of the media. >> in the fall of the communist state in 1988, would the media have been an accelerant, what took five years if you argue about it, would that have -- would it have accelerated the process in the way that a process is being accelerated here? >> let me go back to the eyippings example and the internet effect in what happened in the last few weeks. this is something completely
ignored by the media observers because in -- in egypt because the media is watched by the government and the police. people have been calling for this event,ian 25, and people say, you have 200,000 have liked it or said they're going to attend this event and people obviously didn't take it seriously. it started with a few thousand, maybe a hundred thousand, but the reporting on facebook and tweeting and all this on loon has motivated people, if you're sitting on facebook, get out in the street and do what you have to do. that's why friday they had to shut it down. >> let's go to the audcrens now. >> my name is martha walter, i'm a former journalist. my question is about israel. i wanted to ask, i know this is going to call for a highly speculative answer but it's an interesting thing to entertain,
whether the -- this could be a changing moment for the impactability of the eab-israeli conflict. >> that's big enough. >> let me split it into two separate bits, the first bit, the israelis are quite often ahead of others in terms of saying that we support somebody like mubarak because it provides the stability they feel more secure with than they would with a democratic alterptive. they appreciate you don't know what happens in the tradition. of course we're talking about the entire southern region from israel downwards in a coal manner but pacified to a small extent. there are other problems we don't have time discuss but really it's up in the air now and no doubt they're extremely worried about what's going to happen. >> the concern about -- do you want to change it? >> you have to come back at the
end. >> it's related to a possible transition group to take over the muslim brotherhood, i'm sure this topic would come up later. israel's concerns are legitimate in a way because of the spoth of mubarak, they're happy with mubarak and everything was peaceful in the government. if anything would happen in the future, i think what the israelis should do in the future is selling peace to the people not only the government and start actually to believe that stability could also be parallel with democracy and if they manage to convince the egyptians, more than their government, that they could be a friendly neighbor, i think the egyptians would be happy. obviously, a palestinian deal and other topics we don't have time for. >> i have one more question. >> we'll take the microphone from there and give you -- not a good half nns you're really in trouble. >> i think it's pretty good. what i wanted to say is could
it be game- the chaplain:ling in the sense and forgive me for being sim police -- simplistic but i think there's a reason to ask this question, there's a -- a lot in the arab world may be focusing their attention on a common enemy rather than potential solutions to the con frict. that's what i wanted to ask you. it's not just about egypt and mubarak but about a real game change that we haven't seen before. >> yes,ic there's some -- yes, i think there's some truth in that. i think they're trying to dissuade from that by trying to make people hate israel by allowing anti-semitism in the state media, i was waiting to see how low it would be before people came out to blame zionists for the riot. or i'm waiting for the to say, these rioters have been trained in america by the jews.
>> the u.s. has provided funding in the name of aid to egypt to sponsor the services in egypt and the army. over the past 10 years, the arch is eight billion pounds per anumb for services and army. we heard that four days ago that mubarak actually changed the constitution slightly and created someone who is head of the secret service and the army as me the premier. given that he's going to step down to set the process for creating a transition to a more meaningful democratic representation, to what extent really are we going to have people representation or -- and to what extent is it political change doctored by the united states of america? . .
they can just throw rocks. isn't it a absolutely strategy because of mubarak. our friends say, if you leave it long enough. there will be people wearing different suits and linked to those outside the country. >> i imagine a difference in this. i would say the last five, six years. political figures, whether we like them or dislike them, we have figures like -- many names who possibly not not selects but they have solid ground. they can express themselves. >> you can take a step back. let's talk about this web transition. a transition to something that we're hoping for, while i agree i share your vision, where are
the civil society structures in place, where is the groundwork that needs to be done. how is this going to work from one day to the next without protests. i think it is a serious danger. that should have been laid through western policy for many years, has not been laid. >> there's no civil society, that will allow a regime to run egypt. >> well organized enough sth >> i would say we have enough communists, this may be shocking to many. -- we have enough communists and liberals and social i haves that would fill in the gap with the coalition government. >> would you like to enter in this? >> i would agree this smart egyptians that do a lot. civil society is week after six decades of depression. but i think there's potential. i do think the army is a big
risk. there's a military risk under a takeover of constitutional reform. even if there's a democratic sense, if we look at turkey and algeria, they have gotten back from politics. >> is there more to be discussed? >> certainly. i'll tell you what -- the people will prevail. but my worry is people don't have either -- >> there's random people. >> let's make sure we return to that, the will of the people and the muslim brotherhood, to you now. >> using the microphone. >> my name is jesse harrington. i'm a member of the public. i wanted to ask you -- >> welcome. >> you have partially answered my question but not accurately.
i want to talk -- who are the contenders of power in egypt, what is the army's involvement with -- what side will the army take and what is the -- what is the -- is the possibility of the protection of the minority rights that is -- that is after the takeover. what will happen? do we know any theory around that? >> thank you. it is a public meeting, we hope you come back many times. who wants to tackle that briefly? >> from personal experience, because i was conscripted for 14 months in the egyptian army. the egyptian army, the people look at in a very romantic way as the defender of the country, the good soldiers. they -- the -- they would not be like crush them. no officer or soldier in the army can imagine himself.
there's a long history between the army and the police. where the army sees themselves ads the more pure form and the police are sort of the pugs and the police see themselves, these are, we are the -- guardians of the security and so they don't know what they're talking about. >> i mean, the army i think will remain neutral. there's in -- there's no tendency in the army to seize power or to do a military coup or anything like that. the army -- the higher echelons want it is to remain as a national pride, protector of the country, neutral force. i believe that the civil society in egypt has qualified people that can form a government and create something that is workable. on the contrary, i do not believe that the muslim brotherhood have the expertise and caliber to form any sort of
government. >> we come here for a briefing. to meet a man who is conscripted into the egyptian army, thank you for tell us that. >> if you had been a boy in the tank, what would you have -- what would you have dope? these young men in the tanks, they're sitting by rock flowers. what is that like in this? >> one of our audience told us, when we were deployed in the square, one of the people, the demonstrators went to soldier on a tank and told -- asked hymn, are you going to shoot me? he said no matter what i would never pull my gun on you. i would dot -- do the same. >> the second part is name names. one of you name names and we move on. >> okay. names and minority rights. >> i mentioned names already.
they might be better known in the western media, but we have one twoiling run in 2007, we have a liberal fig -- figure. i know something that keeps urging us to talk about it. i can't name a figure that would stand out as the muslim brother kaat candidate. we have other communist leaders and leftist leaders that might not be nope this the public. the minority rights quickly. again, i think this is down to the value of citizenship on how to be perceived. every institution has been changed -- into better evaluation and better value of human rights and citizenship. i think it will be better off. >> we need to discuss islam and
the the islammist. we got to go. those names can be written down and he'll stay. >> with the public. >> my name is -- egyptian. i'm getting my masters. i have one comment. >> no, can i say welcome, how are you? >> actually. very -- >> get the microphone. >> i'm honestly finding a lot of -- to engage in the discussion, because this is affecting my own family and people. i will basically say two main comments. >> not yet. tell us how it is affecting your family and your people. >> as a matter of fact thousand, we don't have police forces in the streets. the egyptian families are in themselves rescinding themselves and using their open men, using very basic -- things to defend
themselves. this is a critical situation. it is not sustainable. >> have you spoken to your family? >> yes. >> they're so -- so far they're okay. but there are a lot of risks. one risk has to do with the fact that banks are still closed. people are not receiving their salaries and wages. food resources and medicine are decreasing now and they're diminishing which is creating a risk i yi situation in the country. as a matter of fact, after the president's -- the speech, a lot of people were actually in support to start -- to start getting this down and to start getting people back to work and start getting life, going on again and probably moved the whole debate into -- into, into a -- a venue for negotiation rather than keeping it in this way. for my comment. i want to say one on el baradei
and with all due respect, these are -- these are groups that do not deserve to -- they are using those who have been mobilized. played no role in mobilizing those people. those people are anonymous youth who had no political affiliation. no religion kruse affiliation ever. they were simply a group of youth. anonymous youth. they're not grown. no political ambition. all they do is seek -- anything to do now. there should be some ways to dole those political -- those my political activists in order to start -- start playing a leading role. if anyone knows the history of egypt, they're all accepted before, a lot of talk --
concession. and we have never done any acfries that is -- that is worth that these youth have done. nothing. they don't deserve anything. now the -- the head of the western -- the -- who is standing and saying to people that you're not accepting anticipate consegs, this same person was accepting -- extremely talking -- extreme concessions at other phases of which he did not play any kind of role as a political opposition. i only want to add one thing. is that i received a piece of news on facebook for all of those that are working and -- keep connected, a piece of information is that -- there is -- there are eyewitness who is concerned on the ground that the pro mubarak protecters today confess that they are being paid. and others were caught with
police i.d. >> thank you for your update. we'll all plug into the news. u are proud of your country? >> i'm extremely broud of my country. i'm extremely proud of -- i'm extremely proud of my country and my people. i'm not -- february -- and i must say something also that is -- please i would urge adjourn lis working here to start asking for people who are missing because there are a lot of people that are iffing mr. you have about 100 -- 100 youth who are -- who do not know anything. the way we are. and now, we need to start resuming our lives. >> react and get to it. >> quick comment. >> i'm with you, and i agree with you. those names are -- who would say for a reason, he's not considered to be a real position leader. those names actually sorry about it -- i was mistaken to say that
these were meant to be -- i said this in a recorded interview, and you could get back to it. none of these deserve to be a president of egypt, because this is bigger than all of them. i said also this would enrich leaders. what i'm saying in these next few months we would need someone there until the power has happened. it needs to be someone selected by the people. >> to say quickly. i think it is safe. safe is right. i think those people, that he's describing. here the home. -- hope. those people. it wasn't movin' by the muslim brotherhood. muhammad al bare die was outside the lounge at the airport, and of course to go back and say -- save egypt. come on. there's people for the hope. we got the muslim brotherhood to discuss, the gentlemen with the blue shirt, is next. you could be second and third there with the glasses.
>> thank you. you partly answered the question. >> i see quite a lot of parallels and they some familiar it me. we had a slir -- similar, and it became a war between the students and the authorities. my question is, to what extent are the people under -- in the schools and university campuses radicalized. do they the steel to say or go back to the glass. >> keep it -- would one of you like to discuss with the gentlemen? >> a week ago, 10 days ago, nobody would imagine that we would be discussing what we're discussing today. i don't think anybody -- can predict, you know what is going to happen, whether their legs will turn into arms.
>> to what extent are they cad calized. do you know? >> once we know, they're angry. what -- and -- radicalize and religious leader radicalize. what do you mean? >> a teenager that doesn't want to lb to his grandfather tell him what to do and how to live. they basically will resist. in fact my experience was they go into a bubble and they don't resist. >> there's a division now between the people, after yesterday' speech by mubarak, people believe let him stay until september and let him see until afterward. the hard-core people that say he has to go now. it is difficult to say how much, how much% of -- percent of these. it is all very volatile and i will not make an bets on it. >> do you give mubarak credit for being so wiley as to divide people with a delaying tactic?
>> is it in his -- in his position is -- he's an amazing 82-year-old or a hateful one? >> mubarak is very stubborn man. he's been quoted as saying i have a ph.d in stubbornness. would you like to respond? >> he's asking how radicalized are the students? i can't speak directly. but iran has more weapons, they were a-- they were able to undermine the protesters by saying they were a serving a foreign agenda because iran is under the foreign pressure. i don't see a equivalent of that in egypt and the military force and the revolutionary that is are with the regime.
i can't make the comparison. >> we'll park that for now. >> in 10 minutes, let's turn to the muslim brotherhood. we'll go to your question. >> i'm half egyptian, and english. >> doing masters in journalism at the city. i just wanted to come back to the earlier points actually about none of these. none of these leaders deserving to be president. did the panel believe that -- that they -- that -- they need a leader. the muslim brotherhood put their support behind elbar day. he said he wanses to transmission them to a democracy. while they're not ideal, do the panel believe they at least serve as a alternative to mubarak and they can transition them to a true democracy? >> i think exactly what you want know is a leader that [unintelligible] >> i agree with that.
i think it is -- >> in addition to these comments, the constitution should be considered in this question, i think. even myself have cited elbaradei and other games. they don't have a chance. you got the vice president or the supreme court. so actually if it would be considered, which has many times been ignored fon of them have a chance. >> you got the microphone. how long is mubarak. you're half egyptian, what does that side say? houk is he going to stay? >> it is difficult for me to stay saigh. it is changing by -- minute by minute. i thought friday he was going to announce his application. i was so depress pd and speaking as a -- depressed, and speaking as a citizen, rather than journalist. and i thought last night, he was finished. i can't say. >> do you want a change with no one there to take over, just the
argument being had had, nobody to take over, is that good or bad? >> i believe the people that have generating the uprising are middle class. they're using twitter and facebook. >> they're not running the place. >> if they're organized as efficient as now, they're organized and efficient enough to start a motion to democracy. >> my name is max. i'm an analysts, i would like to -- to talk about two questions. >> let's see, to what extent do you think the protests are driven by economic concerns really by young people caring about their futures and -- >> use the microphone, please. >> so to what extent are they driven by normal people and fears of the prospects. how did that affect fundamental
change? how deep do you think the com plitment is to a democracy, in a scenario where there's elections. palestinian elections, do you think -- >> okay, west at 8:10 and you're going foirs. >> i come this the second part, i think it is easier. we haven't seep evidence as to the democracy and egypt before. on the economic sirksde economic grievances were more important here. the unemployment, the inflation, but it is hard to separate those from political dissatisfaction. there's a general sense of injustice and a perception that the economy was being managed by an elite that was managing it in a way that was disadvantaging most people and making a few people very rich. for instance inflation has completely bucked the global trend in egypt. world food prices are going
down. food prices are going up. that has -- that has a lot to do with it. it is very much an interplay. solving the economic problems is going to be a massive challenge for any government. this is worry about investment in egypt being detered. thousands of jobs need to be created. whoever comes next is going to have to face that. >> i think the economy commitment. the point, the point being, i would probably agree, it is a complicated issue. you look at what happened on the bush -- around 2003, with the first sort of drive in the middle east, mubarak pushed back hard. that was it. other areas where are in flames. they didn't have time to deal with somebody who was holding up steadily. i think that's the reduction. >> nothing much to add there.
right? >> yes. yes. you the microphone. >> no, you should have. >> no, you can't. you give us the benefit of your name. >> i'm clair. >> i'm interested to know if there's evidence or anybody making overtures toward protesters in any middle eastern countries where we saw demonstrations? >> let's talk to the men that spoke earlier. >> there was a statement by the foreign minister saying this -- that the -- what is happening in tunisia and egypt and the transformation to an islamic middle east. this was the position. syria, and he described what was happening as a disease. he said that sierra is immuned to the disease. so, i think this is -- this pretty much sums it up.
>> yeah, not much. actually saying, i think iranian comment, the official iranian comment, basically reflects, should be sufficient evidence that he established in iran -- realizes it is not the same cation and no islammist take scrofe. there's no islammist state. you know when they speak this language, you should completely believe the opposite. >> my name is norra. and i'm involved in start agnew political party in tunisia. i -- first of all i want to say that what is happening in egypt strikes -- we have seen everything blow by blow. it is the repeat of the identical scenario. i guess we're one step ahead, two or three weeks ahead of what is happening in egypt. my comment or question to the media is when are you going to
start looking at what happens next. we're in what is happening next right now. our -- we have a very long road to democracy. we have not only change the constitution, but we have to establish a political system. we have to overhaul the media. we have all sorts of transitional justice issues around -- so all of these things are not being followed at all by the media. i'm wondering why. >> two journalists on the panel. i will ask them. what is the main manifest. you got 15 seconds to tell us what your s-your platform for tunisia. >> we got started two weeks ago. >> don't blame us. what is the thing you want? what is your platform. >> defwivens democracy.
>> under whom? >> someone who is going to have to be identified but at the moment, it is the same situation as e script. there's a few people been hustled. >> the journalists, why are you ignoring this platform? >> we are not. we publish in tune nurebia. the huge story is egypt, and we rushed back to cover the next revolution. it is very important. things seem similar. it is -- i think it is interesting that this stability on the streets was restored quickly. progress made fast. investment is not going to be as badly deterred as in e script. there's lessons to learn. >> have you taken your eye off the bull. have you forgotten tunisia and what happened there. >> of course, we went out with the meetings. we struggled with this. at one point, you struggle
between making bre mature assumptions that domino is going to happen and all hell is going to break loose everything. you have to -- there's realities on the ground that -- points that there's a fundamental change happening in the middle east. the ideal outcome is -- is to -- to build infrastructure of a working civil society that is functioning. i wouldn't wond war is the leader. for instance, five, six years ago who knew about barack obama. the leaders evolve. just for the european list -- jurep lists in the room. if we -- journalists in the room, is it the party? yes. >> you can meet the journalists in the room. you want to talk about the brotherhood. i'll take the panelists
discussion and turn to the room. you want to start and go down and tell us why you want to talk about it and what we need to know. we come for your briefing. >> my impression is that the brotherhood is quite divided in recent years, the government has been successful at dividing basically the opposition parties. that goes for the brotherhoods. i met in november with a young guy. a business strategy consultant whose grandfather has been a supreme spiritual leader. he recently resigned saying they have no strategy. he was saying we're divided between people who see three broad trends. one is participation this politics, the other is preaching and social work. the third was maybe we could be something like apac. he said not like apac, but a group that is power, and not
necessarily being part of the institutions. they liked a strategy when it came to the recent parliamentary elections. they strong ties with elbaradei when his pictures -- his daughter was in a swimsuit, he said this doesn't matter. when elbaradei called for a end of the elections. they were rigged. they said gosh they're rigged. i think when we're seeing about the sudden young people, it is embarrassing to the brotherhood. maybe they could take advantage of the chinch. you norks if -- if i was a support, i would be asking why weren't you able to choose it. >> let me talk about basics. the ideology of the muslim brotherhood which i had the opportunity to study closely.
whether you're a muslim or you're a westerner, actually it is the same thing. you're a muslim and westerner and everything in between. the ideology of the brotherhood is a road to totally tall tayrnism and grave danger. there's a struggle in the middle east between force that is will allow an islam to flourish once at the same time accommodating themselves to being integrated into the global community. i don't want to talk about lofty goals and whatever. this is a clear struggle. ivanians on one side. why do they hope mubarak will fall? because they believe they will be joined in the struggle for what comes after him, the islam brotherhood. there's a ideology division between that and totally tall tayrn and what we see in southeast asia and so on and so for the. if you're on the wrong side of
the de, we have a problem. i think you need to be on the right side of that debate. >> the muslim brotherhood are considered to be conservative. i don't like the label. in my view, i would label a muslim secular society. the muslim brother hood are a minority and what you have official numbers of how large thiser. and -- the estimate are between. i'm talking about in the street and the role in what is happening now. not more than 25% in the best case. they don't have more than 25% representation in the street today. there -- their official statement actually in the 24th of january, the day before the process with the official statement, saying we're not taking part if in the protesters. two days later, had to join. everybody else had to join. they had to join because they
didn't have another choice. do they have a role. does it inspire this? are they going to talk over this sth they did not inspire this. they had a minimal role as members and as a group. the -- the role they play now is as big as any other group. they might have a larger organization skills than others. but by no means, they're -- is ham. not only in southeast asia but the rest of egypt. egypt has -- as -- i really underline, like to underline the statement queerly -- clearly. the vast majority of of egypt chans, between mubarak and brotherhood. the most are in between this. they have been politically passive for a long time. i i think the takeover may take
longer time than what i'm allowed at the moment. we'll push that in a couple of minutes. >> i agree with the estimates made by -- made by the scholars that their way, the way to society is not more than 0% of the site. it would be a minority. and -- i mean, if you look back in egypt in the 80's. the muslim brotherhood were almost nonexistent. they were their appeal at that time was to more hardline form. there was the war in affling afghanistan and -- and thfing -- and this was being encouraged and then the 0e's and 90's poll actually the appeal of the muss him brotherhood, is i think because of the injustices and the poverty and they played a role in -- in providing cheap
medical fass sits and tuition and things like that. they're benefiting from the imbalances and problems in egyptian society. >> are they dinosaurs because the new group is younger and motivated by the internet and is on the streets throwing rocks. where is it? for them they're going to be bypassed or would it settle down the longer it drags out. my question about mubarak's strategy. the longer it goes on, they become hungry. is it -- is the fact of the muslim brotherhood now and it restreets with time? >> first of all, they cannot claim this -- this uprising because it was done by young people from all sectors. there are divisions inside the brotherhood themselves, between the young generation and the old guards. >> james, i read a book and
[unintelligible] can i address the question of egyptian -- egypt is separate, it is not on the border, it is a different character. s a you -- as you say there are different characters. whether the question is muslim brotherhood -- whether or not it is important that -- there are alternatives and get mubarak again or suleman. all of that will depend on the character of the egyptian people. is it different? is it the most important arab country in terms of the tate of is ham? >> coop the microphone -- keep the mike frone. the jeants think it is.
-- egyptians think it is. the influence on -- on the -- the influence has been limited more recently. and i would say, there's a shawl minority of egyptians who have been -- who have gotten this more conservative islam. egypt is a big nation and they have hundreds. i wouldn't say hundreds, they got a large number of divisions of islam. it is down to the egyptian character. what we see, a nationalist revivel where -- where the old -- revival, where the old pictures of resistance. the resistance to egyptian
occupation. >> we know the tunisias got there first. it is not that egyptian. where were these feelings before the people of tunisia that are not egyptians sexressd fear and loathing. what were the egyptians doing then? >> they were sleeping. i would have to say, they were 14r50e7ping. this is unden -- they were sleeping. you see this again from the generation on facebook is incredible. you hear about how they talk about the n.d.p. you think we have a man -- and the and the french. this is like an occupation and we have to free our country and sentimental songs. this is coming back again. it is all very secular. >> and i been told by an iranian colleague, people in iran, they look at the egypt and they don't see the other countries.
but egypt is evolving. it is not set in stone. out of the 80 million, 70 million have access to the internet. it is changing them. >> hi. my name is [unintelligible] i'm iraqi journalist. i was in iraq before the invasion and after that. i'm -- we don't have a soiled candidate to run egypt. i'm worried that it is going to be the same in iraq. like what happened this iraq that we didn't have's -- any person that -- who can really lead iraq. that led to the division. doubt think -- do you think the scenario will be the same? taking apart the coalition forces being in iraq? >> stunned them to silence. >> i think egypt hasn't had quite the bad luck that iraq has
had in the last 30 years. the history -- the various wars. the proliferation of weapons, the extent of the corruption. i think unfortunately, your country has suffered a lot worse. i think it is hard to see those, those kinds of problems being mirrored in egypt. >> to you in the front. >> would you give us the benefit of your name. >> anita. i'm egyptian. i'm answering that statement. i think -- has it is premature to worry about -- about replacement of -- of -- you know regime, like saying we need to put something in place is basically fear mongering. the democracy never came to any country overnight. you could even look at great democracies like the u.k. and france and america. it took years.
i fully expect that with any protests or any revolution, egypt is going to go through a lot of problems and upheaval for months, for years perhaps. people saying, particularly our government, the n.d.p. saying if you don't find a replacement we're going to go the same way as iraq or something is fear mongering. we need to go for it. >> my name is ramsey. the panelist. the question i have is that the a.k.c. party this turkey, the ruling party. they came -- they came from under the umbrella of the muslim brotherhood. they -- they done quite well by all measure -- so the question is why is everyone running scared in the brotherhood? >> i think for you -- to -- you answered the question well. look at the foreign policy, if you're sitting as a western
policy maker, that's why you're worried, they're doing well and things you consider to be counter productive to the kind of things you're trying to achieve. i noticed there was a big speech. i only had time to read a little bit. very supportive of the protesters. and i'm not surprised that he came out in that way. i think you answer your own question. >> that is the main thing. and forget foreign policy. they done well for their population. there are priorities. >> it is the best case you can make. it is the government that has been really successful economically. >> and -- yes. >> what -- what is your point for the wrest of them? >> no one has give kenn the -- brotherhood a chance -- nobody has given the brotherhood a chance. >> the government hasn't given anyone a chance. >> why is it so feared?
>> how the west see this is. i want us to talk about that in five minutes. you. >> please give us your name. >> nina. i'm turkish economist. i agree with the sentiment of the last -- of the last, the last contribution. i think that the -- that the -- that the panel i haves were slightly underestimating the -- the -- underestimating the brotherhood to come to the four. in turkey, you had deep secular reforms and in 10 years you have a very islamized society. it is a question of how strong is secularism in egypt and that kind of dynamic. j keep the microphone. would you like to pick on one of them? >> the egyptian one. >> you want to be egyptian one.
>> so long as we don't use names no one will ever know. >> from the way i see it, you're looking at the muslim brotherhood, i don't see in their agenda or their literature thick that indicates to me that they have enough caliber of -- of people and enough expertise, enough political skill to form a government on their own. i'm not counting them out completely of the equation. they could be part of you know any -- any democratic system in any country, so long as they respect the rules of the game. but from what -- my point of view, if egypt, they can't do it at the moment. >> the point about the rise of the party in turkey, they were catapulted and supported by the rise of a business class. they were supported, had a social base. and here we have egypt, which
has been undergoing privatization if the past 20 years. there's a middle class there which is probably resents the coneys around mubarak and are looking for an option and political answer to cent them. i'm saying the muslim brotherhood could be the mill actor that represents these small immediate crumb sized sectors in egypt. >> what we have is at least 25% and growing? >> compared to the turkey experience, as you said, for example, again it is completely different historical process, because turkey has gone hard-core secular process. egypt hadn't had the experience at all. so that's why -- it is my -- it might sound reasonable to have a islam party coming out, after other reaction to this secular process. while in egypt actually. back to the question. how strong secularism is in e
giant. before this question. what secularism means in egypt. i think definitions are tricky. if you talk about western tunisia and turkey style of secularism, you won't find this in egypt. you have day to die, people are religious and devoted. it is a core element in the identity nationalist and islammist identity, while at the same time, they don't think -- what is actually, i have to say -- doesn't mean anything to them. they're -- one point legal codes in egypt composed in har moan. most people are happy with it. >> you're giving the lady an analysis. she says you're underestimating the potential. are you disagreeing? >> i don't think we're underestimated. i agree. they would be part of the coalition, 20, 30%. they been successful so far as
far as 30%. in the future, they might actually diminish. we'll have the other groups speaking up. >> now we got 10 minutes left. you not hearing why you came in the room, let me know. >> that's takes in the audience. you're going to be the first question. and the -- the analysis is it is not about past, it is about them. this is putting the foot on the throat of young people for 30 years and their parents. it is so much repressed anger coming out. it is less about the west. then we see it through our prism as this gentleman in the audience is saying. they seem -- barack obama -- he doesn't seem to work out what he has to say. want to put it in your terms, about where is the west supporting this now that it is collapsing? >> i think a lot of people -- are tweeting and blogging.
they're asking, why going back for years and years, there's a recurring thing that you see on american news where people pick up tear gas canisters which they say made on the u.s.a. in the bottom. and they say why is this happening? obama within the language of international diplomacy, it sounds like he's going from mubarak. he's talk about an ordinarily -- orderly transition. if you have tear gas thrown at you, you probably not hear that message. i think there's a big resentment that got so bad that even some people have -- have nostalgia for telling the stuff that bush said. >> i wonder what he's thinking on his ranch right thousand, he's suddenly -- whether he's feeling vindicated. the reality is the west has been caught -- obama has been caught sleeping at the wheel. let's use that analogy in a way.
i think i said before that the reality, there should have been paid attention to this. despite it is not a flash point. you look after those parts, a difficult region in the world that poses a great challenge. if we think back a couple of years, we were worried. you look after those points. i think the principle behind the democracyization is a more stainible long-term government is assailible. it is disgraceful that when the obama administration came in is disgraceful. you said people realized we don't have to live like this. exactly. >> they don't have to live like this. >> anyone else record the cairo speech that obama gave two years ago. someone, shouted we love you barack obama. that was cairo university.
>> that wasn't there, tf here. i remember this as well. and obviously, not regret that filling the dictatorship, the west would consider the future policies in the region. but i would like also to voice, some of the -- of the people in egypt now. and in regard to the west. they didn't really care much about the west and what they think then me think it completely domestic issue and we get support from the west. we hope obama and others will speak of it and support the people. which they know they're not going to do. they're more caught up. it is what they're doing inside. are they going to speak with -- with the american ambassador can -- in cairo the other day, was interpreted by people on the street, here you go, here's a puppet. and where this happened in the future. >> perfectly understandable, the
image of the world leaders as puppets. there's a strange scene in the square. people were there, and chanting anti-mubarak slogans. then they burned an israeli flag. for me it is strange. we have to ask ourselves. what do we want from the west? what do we want from the outside world. if -- if a demonstration was to take place tomorrow and -- in jordan, is obama supposed to overthrow the king? is this -- i think -- this is -- this is in the hands of the people now. the people have to decide what they want. and forget about the west, forget about israel. decide what they want for the future. >> if you gave up your time. you not hearing the panel -- now is the time to speak. >> i would say many werners that
watched the protesters in egypt and across the arab world, the domino effect. one of the surprising things was or positive things about it is the lack of islammist or very strongly religious movement within the protests. and to what extent linking that -- linking it to the hope and also, to what extent is the west's bogeyman and 9/11 and effect it had on policy around the world. how does this undermight be the west role in the world, in the past decade? it was striking in ton nichia, it wasn't an islammist led up rising. there's questions to be asked to what extent is it true that most people forecasting if the west have had in their heads that any resolution would be favoring
islammists consequence us. and i would say a lot of secular or left spist opposition groups also -- i -- a lot of opposition groups wouldn't fit with the u.s. if you look at the attitudes toward israel, you see a lot of egyptian gruchese they're krill of israel -- groups, they're critical of israel. it is not just going to be about the islammist. >> your name? >> hi, jim. >> you all right? >> i think -- i think the reaction of the western leaders to these tensions is almost one of 0 noticeance it seems. as far as they were concerned, mubarak despite his ways. he was a safe pair of hands. after the war, they didn't have are to worry about much in
egypt. i think all of this hype going on around the muslim brotherhood is just werners like projecting fears -- westerners, projecting fears. they're worried about the new guy. this is particularly -- par particularly israel. >> we'll hear from the audience and wrap together what you're hearing and points you didn't cover. you next? >> then to you you in the gray. >> my name is scott bowlinger. i lived in egypt for a year. i wanted to make a coom meant about this intelligence failure from the west. it is that we have to remember that politician is always changing, it is never static. i was talking about this with iran. somebody told me about the great movement is dead. there's a hogs of legitimacy there, something will happen. some same thing with the arab
states, the governments will tend toward something more stable. whether the way they get there are is stable, is different. they have to start from that point that politics will evolve and is evolving. >> gray man. >> i'm an analysts. although our previous conscript, i don't know your name. commenttators sympathize that the -- that the army is for the people and that's why they will remain neutral. what i want to know, does anyone see, see the neutrality to be short-lived. there seems to be an important breaking point now. >> please put that in your closing remarks. >> you had one. that's it. closing comments from the panel. we'll close this to time. everyone is busy. you worked hard as an audience. we'll go this direction. just for the record, this is muhammad. -- muhammad, from bbs online. >> no.
i don't think neutrality would break. there's the guard which is like mubarak's bodyguards. they would defend him if somebody stoned the palace. but generally speaking i don't think the army would break its neutrality. your closing comment? >> it is interesting, henry kissinger said on channel four about why the u.s. is what is stopping mubarak. he reminded when sad dat did the peace treaty with israel and egypt shifted from a soviet alley to a u.s. ally and that's what assassinated, and shortly afterward and mubarak came. at the time u.s. was happy to have him. it stayed this way. and the policy was built on having him as a friend and tolerating him and seeing him as a safe pair of hands. all of this, is i think being
shattered. we're about to witness a totally new reality in the middle east. >> thank you, your closing view? >> i think the region is changing. i think politics from the region and the middle east and west, should start develop new agenda and policy for the region. few quick comments about -- about islammist, the is ham in question. governments have -- want more credibility among the people in the street, they should actually incorporate with democratic secular leaders, not dictators. then they will have credibility and stability and democracy as well, considered. the issue of the people. i think they will hopefully start develop political culture and that will take generations. as the lady said earlier, this will take years to develop. and -- those are -- those
changes, again i would have to trust, theory secular changes. they're for -- for no ideological or religious reasons. if you put this in violent is and like hard-core violent -- hard-core groups, they change it, they make it possible that secular revolutions and changes are do-able. you don't have to blog in the tube to do it. people can doo it with their own voices. >> you hope not to live in interesting times. these are definitely interesting times. i would say, it is about an opening up of space. this is not about western fears in the region. this is about a space having opened up and there being a real risk that it is filled with -- with this kind of regime that would be very troublesome, overall, you can't help but be excited. the reality is that the iranian regime knows since those protests that its days are numbered.
across the entire middle east,ed dictators know this is not working anymore. surely that's a good thing. >> i think we had a motive -- a lot of optimism,, which is exciting. but then we hear pome possibly 300 people are dead. we talked about the western policy. the west, and the attitude of the states in the other region. probably most of the governments in the region are not desperate to see a well functioning democracy in egypt. it has been convenient to point to pal tin and -- palestine, lebanon and iraq. having said that. one of the most positive things i had, is the idea people are thinking more about what they could do for themselves, not just blaming the leaders and not just blaming the west. and they do have power